Swiss need to share more info, says OECD

| 02/06/2011

(Reuters): Switzerland still has "a big problem" when it comes to meeting international standards aimed at helping other countries crack down on tax evaders, the OECD said on Wednesday. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which was set up under the auspices of Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, has credited Switzerland with making significant progress in the fight against tax cheats since it eased its strict bank secrecy in 2009. But at the conclusion of a three-day meeting in Bermuda on Wednesday, the Forum noted that some Swiss requirements governing the implementation of tax information agreements still hindered the effective sharing of information.

Switzerland is the world's biggest offshore banking center and has long been known for putting a premium on privacy laws and bank secrecy. Among other issues, Switzerland has been criticized for being too restrictive and demanding too much detail, including the name and address of suspected tax cheats, from countries making requests for tax information under some agreements.

"There is a big problem which needs to be fixed," said Pascal Saint-Amans, chief of the Global Forum's secretariat.

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